Monday, October 31, 2005

Our Awa Odori Comeback!

Last night we, Kocho-ren (the butterfly, not the principal), performed at a big meeting at Tsukigatani Onsen. The meeting was about what to do regarding the town's rapidly declining population. And they asked us to be there to show off, I mean, perform.

We practiced on Saturdays for the thee or four weeks preceeding; it was just enough practice to make the short performance doable. Beforehand we had been pretty doubtful of how it would go over. It could have been a room full of drunk old men bent on grabbing the bottoms of out junior high aged female members, it could have been dead and solemn. We were prepared for the worst. There are few things worse than an unresponsive crowd. What we were not prepared for was massive enthusiasm. We were super well recieved, and as at any other time when we have been cheered, our performance stepped up. People were clapping, shouting "Yattosa yattoSAAA!" and really getting into it. That kind of response somehow makes you shine all the more, it gives you the guts to try pulling off those random cool moves you probably wouldn't try otherwise. We all danced really really well. When I was doing my solo bit down the aisle amidst everyone, the town mayor gave me a big smile and thumbs up. When we had finished everyone was shouting "An-ko-rei! An-ko-rei!" (encore, encore). We smiled back at them with smiles that said "No, please, my body can't handle any more!" Our musicians started playing again at high tempo and there was nothing we could do but dance. We danced our bad selves out of the room to much applause, taking our time to be the showmen (showpeople?) we were born to be.

It was awesome. I was in high spirits verging on massively hyperactive for the rest of the evening, perhaps to the chagrin of the other members of our ren. So much fun. I'm so glad I didn't have to say goodbye for the year until the end of the month. In retrospect, it was a pretty awesome birthday gift, even if it came two weeks late. Kouichiro commented that it was like summer was back for just a little bit more. I sure do love that awa odori. Too bad it was a school night. We could have rounded the night off with some karaoke otherwise.


At 5:36 p.m. PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew, I can feel your excitement to have such uncontainable joy . Your japan memory file keeps exploding. Praise God our internal heart drives never max out. Years from now smells or sights will trigger immense amazing memories.
Who exactly do you have to say good bye to and when and in ...some formal way???


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